Aldo Out, Mendes in for UFC 189
By now, if you haven’t heard already, UFC featherweight champion Jose “Scarface” Aldo has pulled out of his UFC 189 bout against Conor McGregor with an apparent rib injury. News of this outcome comes as a disappointment to fight fans all around the globe, as a lot of money was spent promoting the fight and the excitement was beginning to hit it’s peak being that we were only 11 days away. Aldo, who injured his rib while taking part in a sparring session earlier last week, was planning on fighting through the pain. Unfortunately, the pain was ultimately too intense and Aldo felt he had to remove himself from the fight. Stepping in Aldo’s place will be Chad “Money” Mendes. Mendes was announced last week to be the replacement for Aldo if need be.
Mendes has reportedly been training for the fight for quite some time now, but not without reason. Jose Aldo has a history of pulling out of fights, evidenced by UFC 125, UFC 149, UFC 153, and UFC 176. If you recall, an entire card at UFC 176 had to be cancelled because Aldo pulled out of the fight. Conor McGregor’s reaction to this news was, as always, very befitting. McGregor, believes that Aldo is simply “scared” to fight and that is why he pulled out. McGregor’s confidence is unwavering, stating that Mendes will be unconscious four minutes into the first round. McGregor, a well-known trash talker, went as far as to say he was going to “demolish” Mendes and was going to “rip his head off”.
The question remains, is McGregor’s confidence misplaced? A lot of talk has been focused on the style of the fight now that Mendes has stepped in for Aldo. The case is being made that McGregor matches up better with Aldo than he does with Mendes. Is there credence to this? Aldo is a polished Muay Thai striker, whereas Mendes is a former NCAA wrestling All-American. It is this kind of matchup that is cause for concern for McGregor supporters, even if McGregor himself claims he isn’t worried in the slightest. Plus, you could never expect a fighter to outright admit he is worried about a fight, much less McGregor of all people. Vegas, at least for the time being, still has McGregor favored at -140, with Mendes coming in at +110.
Mendes, on the other hand, didn’t mince words when talking about McGregor. Mendes understand that Conor is a “tough guy” but he is a “guy I know I can beat”. Mendes continued on to say “If I could go out there and knock this dude out, I definitely think that is a possibility”. More from Mendes, “I feel like I have the power and speed to put this guy out, if not I can see myself taking this dude out by taking him down and submitting him”. He still wasn’t finished, “I’ve seen past fights where he’s lost, got submitted. The guy, he’ll tap. He’s got that give up, that quit in him”. This is already making up to be one hell of a fight. Just when you thought it wasn’t possible, the UFC becomes even more unpredictable.